Hillsborough deputies crack down on jaywalking

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is upping the ante on pedestrian safety by cracking down on jaywalking and other offenses.

For the next several weeks, deputies are increasing patrols in four of the most deadly areas for pedestrians and bicyclists.

“Whether you’re on a bicycle, you’re walking, or you’re in a vehicle, we’re going to educate the drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists on how to share the roadways,” said Corporal Kristy Udagawa.

Deputies will also be writing tickets, depending on the circumstances. Violations can cost $50 or more.

“We see them using the crosswalks, or not using them properly,” Udagawa said. “Bicyclists, we see them riding the wrong direction on the roadway. What we look for in motorists is speeding.”

Statistics from the sheriff’s office show 43 pedestrian and cyclist crashes in the Fletcher Avenue corridor between N. Nebraska Ave. and Bruce B. Downs Boulevard during 2016 and 2017. Of those, 38 were injured and one person died.

Cutrer's advice for pedestrians is simple. Follow the laws pay attention, and watch your step.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is not the only agency increasing patrols to educate the public on pedestrian safety.

The Sarasota Police Department and Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office are also carrying out similar operations.

The projects are funded in part by a grant with the Florida Department of Transportation.